How much would Johannsson help U.S.? 

November, 28, 2012

While Aron Johannsson -- the Alabama-born, Denmark-based, Icelandic-American forward profiled in the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine -- won't rule out the possibility of representing the U.S., a closer look at his situation casts doubt on the likelihood that he'll ever play for the Yanks.

The recruiting call he received from Jurgen Klinsmann this fall did give the 22-year-old Aarhus star something to think about -- Johannsson says the U.S. boss and ex-Germany striker "can probably help me in my career"-- but it's clear that Johannsson considers himself Icelandic first.

That's not to say Johannsson isn't proud of his American roots. His family still celebrates Thanksgiving, and he calls the 10 months he spent at Florida's IMG academy as a teenager in 2007-08 "the best year of my life."

Yet he was fully prepared to forfeit his U.S. eligibility last month, after speaking to Klinsmann, by stepping on the field for Iceland for cap-tying qualifiers against Albania and Switzerland. A groin injury eventually forced him to withdraw from the squad.

"If he had been fit, he would not have rejected [the chance] to play," said his agent, Magnus Agnar Magnusson.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.